Hello to the start of a busy holiday week for many of you. Have your out-of-town guests arrived yet? I am sure the to-do list this week will be filled with lots of things including shopping for gifts, cooking and baking, cleaning the house, and more. Try to keep your daily to-do list manageable by listing the top five items you would like to get done. If you have to move items to the next day, don't worry about it. Also, delegate some to-do items to your family especially the kids since they are probably out of school and home from college for the long holiday break. You might think that keeping them 'out of your hair' by not giving them tasks to-do is good, but it's better to include them. It could be something simple as bringing in firewood to have on hand by the fireplace. I think everyone will feel they played a role in getting the home ready for the holidays.
Before you head out and about on the last weekend of holiday shopping before Christmas, remember to make a list and check it twice for gifts you have already purchased. In the hustle and bustle of it all, stick to your holiday budget and don't overspend. Keep in mind that there will be plenty of deals after Christmas where lots of stuff will be 50% off. So, save some cash for more good bargains later. Frugal, that's You!
The holiday season is in full swing and all things that go along with preparing for it. It's very easy for your exercise routine to take a backseat with all that you have to do. Here are some ways to stay on track with exercise during the holidays:
1. Use your lunch hour at work to take a walk. There may be school plays to attend, cookies to bake, or potluck meals to prepare for events. You may not have time for your normal evening walk once you get home, but at least you made time for a good walk earlier in the day. 2. There are lots of ways to sneak in a few exercises while you cook or bake. While waiting for the oven to warm, do 2-3 sets of squats, lunges, arm & ab twists or any exercise that you can perform in a standing position. Just before you open the canned foods, use them as weights and do a few arm curls with them. 3. If your wrapping items are spread out on the living room floor for ease, take a break in between gift wrapping and do a few sets of push ups and abdominal exercises.
Keep the stress away and don't fret the small stuff. Be Merry!
I love to find good bargains and there are plenty of them inside the Dollar Tree stores. I am sure there is one in your shopping area and it's worth a trip. The variety of items are endless from food, snacks, dishes, cleaning products, cards, toys, and more. No reason to ask the price of an item because everything is a dollar. Frugal is In!
'Tis the season for sending and receiving holiday cards. Save a little money on cards and stamps by sending e-cards. There are plenty of websites across the internet to choose an e-card. I get a kick out of sending them for any occasion and especially like the one's that play music. I know family and friends will receive a card through the mail, but e-cards are just as merry. Put a smile on someone's face this holiday season when they check their email and open your e-card. I bet they replay the e-card again and again!
As we check our to-do lists for the holiday season, keep in mind those families, friends, or neighbors who may be struggling financially this holiday season. They may not speak out that times are hard and simply buying food for the holidays will be tough let alone gifts.
Here are some ways you can help others during the holiday season: --->Buy extra non-perishable foods while your shopping --->Purchase a gift card in any monetary amount you can afford --->Give cash in a holiday card --->Fill up the gas tank in their car --->Purchase a book of stamps --->Bake some homemade treats and put in decorative tin --->Buy a rotiserrie chicken that will make a variety of meals. My favorite!
These next few weeks leading up to Christmas will get even busier. Any help you can provide for someone else will be appreciated more than you can ever imagine.
Get your jolt of vitamin C by eating an orange daily. Pack one in your brown bag lunch or as an afternoon snack. Also, top your dinner salad with orange slices for added zest and nutrients. Here's to a healthier You!
Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your desk, bag, car, or anywhere you can easily get to it in order to cleanse your hands until you are able to wash them thoroughly. Our hands touch a lot of things throughout the day especially when shaking someone's hand during an introduction. I'm not a big fan of shaking hands and try to avoid it. The cold and flu season is here, be ready!
An arctic blast has hit Atlanta with temps in the 20's and blustery winds. Of course, it feels like it's in the teens when you factor in the wind chill. I'm glad that my home has a garage for my car. It's always a good idea to allow your car plenty of time to warm up before driving off. Just in case your car stalls or there is a traffic backup due to weather, be prepared with these tips in mind:
Gas tank ->keep full or at least half a tank, never on "E"
Flashlight ->make sure the batteries work
Ice/Snow Scraper ->keep in car to remove from windows
Blanket ->stay warm while you wait
Gloves ->keep an extra pair in the glove box
Water ->good idea to have some bottles of water in the car
Food ->keep some peanut butter crackers or granola bars for snacking
If you will be hosting a small dinner party this holiday season, try to cut down on using so many paper products. Instead, use real dinnerware, glasses, and silverware. I realize everyone wants cleanup to be snap after the party is over and paper products are an easy toss in the trash. But using the dishwasher is better and more energy-efficient when fully loaded.
The less paper products in the landfills is so much better. Let's all continue to do our part for the environment by becoming more Green!
It's the first day of December and the holiday season is truly in gear. As the holiday party invites begin to come in, keep in mind that a gift for the host/hostess of the party is always a lovely way of saying thanks for their hospitality. Here are a few ideas:
--->Holiday fragrance candle --->Bottle of wine in holiday wine bag --->Small box of chocolates like Godiva or Russell Stover --->Homemade treats in a holiday container --->Can of Planters Cocktail peanuts --->Holiday music CD --->Poinsettia plant for added pop of color around the house --->Ornament for the Christmas tree
When you arrive at the party, the host will probably say "Oh, you didn't have to bring anything." But the gesture will truly be appreciated.
I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I am sure lots of you have worked up your to-do list for the day and week ahead. After a long holiday break, you may feel a bit sluggish as you get back into the groove of work and projects. Stay focused with the easier tasks first and work your way up to those that require lots of time. If weather permits, take a walk during lunch to get energized. You will be back into the groove in no time. Have a great week everyone!
I'm guessing many of you may still have house guests until tomorrow as they begin to travel back home. There is plenty of college football on television today, but some may be on sports overload.
While out and about yesterday, I stopped by Home Depot for a few poinsettias that were .99 cents for one day only. I did not get up at 5 a.m. during their early morning hours in order to buy them and really thought they would all be gone at that price. My luck was on and they still had plenty. I noticed that people were starting to buy Christmas trees and this got me thinking about a fun activity this weekend with your house guests.
Plan a tree trimming party with your guests this evening. Pull out the Christmas decorations and have everyone help decorate the tree. I bet you will have ornaments that family and friends have given you over the years. How nice will it be to reminisce as you hang them on the tree.
I know there probably are leftovers from Thanksgiving that can be served as everyone works up an appetite. Check out some of the recipes at Good Housekeeping to jazz them up. To get even more into the holiday spirit and cheer, serve some eggnog or warm apple cider. Have Fun!
The retailers are running television ads and the newspapers are filled with fliers for upcoming deals on Black Friday. I am sure lots of you are ready to shop and catch some of those deals. Here are 3 budget-savvy Black Friday Tips to keep in mind as you head out to shop.
1. Make a List & Budget ->This is truly #1. Plan ahead in the next several days for those on your gift-buying list. If you know what gift you are looking for, jot it down by their name. Listen for hints that your family and friends tend to throw out in hopes you are listening. You are, of course. Write out a budget that truly reflects just how much money you can spend on gifts. More importantly, stick to that budget. Here's a Biggie ->Leave the credit cards at home and use cash. 2. Check Online & Store Fliers ->Spend time checking online for the deals at the places you plan to shop. Also, store fliers are filled with coupons and deals too so don't skip clipping those too. Pick up an in-store flier and double check it as you shop around. 3. Pull Names ->Take the pressure off gift-buying for every family member especially if you have a large family. On Thanksgiving when everyone is together, put all the names in a container and have everyone pull a name. You can spend a bit more on that person when you are not trying to divvy up your money for everybody. Ask them to write down 3 wish list gifts and pick from their list. This tip is good for workplace gift exchanges with co-workers and gal/guy pals too.
As you shop around town on Black Friday, remember to stay hydrated by drinking water and to take breaks to eat. Pack on-the-go snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, boxes of raisins, bananas, or nuts. Any of these can help tie you over until you get home to enjoy more of the leftovers from the Thanksgiving dinner. Think of the money you will save by not buying food from the mall food court. Use the savings for stocking stuffers!
Put a sharpie pen in your bag to check off the gift once it's purchased. Talk about organized, that's you! Have lots of fun as you look ahead to shopping on Black Friday and remember to wear comfortable shoes.
In case you have yet to organize and put away your spring & summer clothes for the season, here is a quick tip to keep in mind -->Make sure the clothes are laundered or dry cleaned before storing them away. You don't want perspiration or any other stains to persist on a garment that will be stored away for months.